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Determining Behavioral Patterns Associated With Success as a Dual-Purpose Police K9 (2019-US-30MP-256)

Level: Intermediate


Jordan Gillespie, Graduate Student, Auburn University
Steve Figard, Research Director and Professor in the Department of Biology, Bob Jones University
Jennifer L. Essler, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Penn Vet Working Dog Center
Cynthia M. Otto, Professor of Working Dog Sciences and Sports Medicine, University of Pennsylvania


Many studies have evaluated differences and consistencies in the behaviors of various dog breeds throughout early development. These behavioral examinations carry significant importance in working dog training and research as they can be utilized to determine the future potential of young dogs in different careers. This study focuses on a retrospective analysis of a behavioral test adapted by the Penn Vet Working Dog Center that evaluates the environmental soundness and hunt and toy drive of future working dogs as puppies (n=45) throughout training to determine behavioral patterns indicative of dogs that successfully complete K9 police training. The test consisted of multiple evaluations performed at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of age. Stress, toy engagement and hunting (for toy) behaviors were analyzed. Analyses of video recordings of the test allowed for determination of behavioral trends indicative of success in K9 police work using nominal logistic regression. The Prediction Profiler in JMP was the primary tool employed in evaluating the test results and will be demonstrated in this presentation.

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